ENFPs have four modes of processing input: Their first is extroverted intuition (Ne), which dwells in ideas and possibilities and make connections about the world around them. The second mode is introverted feeling (Fi), which processes things according to an internal value system and analyzes how the ENFP feels. The third is extroverted thinking (Te) which organizes information in a logical fashion that produces the best possible results. The fourth is introverted sensing (Si) which organizes information and stores past experiences.
Because extroverted intuition and introverted feeling are the two main functions of ENFPs (and therefore the most readily apparent), quite a few stereotypes develop about how this type behaves and processes information. Here are eight common misconceptions about this ever-contradictory type.
1. ENFPs are go-with-the-flow
Here’s the thing about ENFPs: When we don’t care about something, we don’t care all the way. If we’ve decided that material possessions don’t matter much to us, you could come into our house, accidentally smash all of our plates and we’d be all “Hey don’t worry about it! Who needs plates to be happy? Not me!” But when it comes to our goals and desires, we are the least chill people imaginable. Everything this type does is deliberate, no matter how off-the-cuff is appears to be. An ENFP doesn’t just go on a trip or start a new job – they are constantly at work analyzing, evaluating and making connections between everything that they do. Plates don’t necessarily make the radar. But the big stuff does. And no ENFP is chill about the big stuff.
2. ENFPs wear their hearts on their sleeve
ENFPs are warm. They’re welcoming. They’re kind. But what they are not is comfortable with personal disclosure. This type has introverted feeling, which means they prefer to work through emotions internally. The main functions that the ENFPs use to interact with the world are extroverted intuition (Ne) and extroverted thinking (Te). This means that they enjoy asking questions, debating ideas and formulating theories aloud. They save the emotional stuff for when they get home.
Note: This is somewhat dependent on Enneagram type. An ENFP type 4 may totally want to read you their slam poem, whereas an ENFP type 7 would rather die.
3. ENFPs are commitment-phobes
ENFPs are not always quick to jump into serious relationships but this is more often an issue of compatibility than one of commitment. ENFPs connect relatively quickly with most people. But they want more than a surface-level connection and a few common interests: they are searching for a specific, intense relationship that both challenges and grows them. If they find this, they are ALL IN. If not, the horizons are still being scanned for what else is out there. With goals, plans and relationships alike, ENFPs are in all the way or not at all.
4. ENFPs are always happy
ENFPs hold the pervasive belief that there is always something left to look forward to. This does not at all translate to constant happiness. Though this type gives of a light-hearted, fun-loving air, they actually take life quite seriously. ENFPs feel their lows just as intensely as they feel their highs – they just aren’t as comfortable expressing negative emotion as they are positive.
5. ENFPs are promiscuous
ENFPs are known for being notorious flirts and highly sexually active, neither of which entirely holds true. While ENFPs are generally quite liberal in their values (Sexual and otherwise), they get off on emotional connection. Literally. This type does not enjoy meaningless sex and they have to feel connected to their partner in some way in order to enjoy the act. That being said, ENFPs do form connections quite quickly and quite often. Make of that what you will.
6. ENFPs are highly sensitive to criticism
Here’s the deal with ENFPs – we have a select number of people whose input we hold in high esteem. If you’re on that list, we take your criticism to heart in a huge way. If you’re not on the list, we could not care less what you have to say. Introverted feeling is very particular in this sense. If we respect you, your input matters. If not, what you say gets brushed off and the ENFP barrels on forward.
7. ENFPs are social butterflies
ENFPs love people – that’s no secret. What’s not as obvious is that ENFPs put an incredible amount of stock into their personal relationships. Trying to maintain five hundred surface level friendships would be exhausting for this type. They give off a friendly air, but are really unable to maintain more than a handful of close relationships at a time.
8. ENFPs are free spirits
ENFPs are not the free-spirited hippy types that they are so often made out to be. Though their values are liberal and their methods unconventional, ENFPs are incredibly driven folk who almost always have a clear-cut goal in mind. They don’t want to go wherever the wind blows them. They want to be the freaking storm, and God help anything that gets in their way.